Category: Politics & Religion


The fiddle emerged in 10th century Europe. It was not around for the burning of Rome in 64 C.E. Neither was Nero, for that matter. According to the writings of the historian Tacitus, Nero was 30 miles outside Rome in his villa in Antium at the time the fire started.

Nero had previously made it known that he wanted Rome redesigned. He didn’t like the condition the city was in and yet he was powerless to take any action—until it burned. His political allies could’ve started the fires so he’d have his way or his foes could’ve started them so Nero would be blamed. Alternatively, the fire could’ve been a complete accident. Whichever was true, we have all heard the stories of Nero burning Rome or that Nero fiddled while Rome burned.

It doesn’t matter that Nero rushed to help extinguish the fire, paid for relief efforts from his own funds or beautifully rebuilt the city. Nero was a bully and a villain and history has remembered him as such.

It’s not necessary to start the fire or pull the trigger to be the villain; you only need to be persuasive enough that someone else will do those things for you. When a person covers a map in “surveyor marks” and change happens on that map to match his or her political desires, time does not and should not absolve that person of responsibility.

History does repeat itself; some people are, apparently, just too stupid to learn from it.

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Enough is Enough

I have an iGoogle page. My email, Pandora account, weather, bookmarks and news headlines all live on that one page; it is the perfect access to all the things that interest me.

This morning I saw a headline that said something like Suicide Bomber Attacks NATO Convoy. Ok, nothing new there. Not five minutes later I saw that the headline had changed to Five Americans among 18 killed in Afghanistan. That change infuriates me! Why is the story suddenly more interesting because five Americans were killed? THIRTEEN non-Americans were killed! By percentages alone, that’s what the story should be.

I am so sick of Americans acting as though an American who dies is somehow more valuable, or even more newsworthy, than anyone else.

Would you like to see the numbers?

  • On September 11, 2001 there were 2,995 casualties in coordinated attacks against the United States on US soil. These attacks were carried out by 19 hijackers: 18 from Saudi Arabia, 1 from the United Arab Emirates, zero from Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Since the war began on March 19, 2003 the American military death toll is approximately 5,500.
  • Since that same date, the number of civilians killed in Iraq alone (this doesn’t include Afghanistan) is between 96,098 and 104,826.

Do you feel like you got even yet?